September is a transitional month. If you have children, your transition might include new back-to-school routines (and even if you don’t have children, there’s additional traffic to deal with). Whether it be raking leaves, weekend tailgates, closing the cottage or all the additional chores on your to-do list before the winter’s feathers fly, one thing’s certain. You usually run out of time and money to do it all.
Thankfully, I live in a detached condo, and instead of children, I have these absolutely adorable show kitties (that happen to think they’re children), so my family chores are limited to opening cans of their favorite foods. And if they grow thumbs, I’m out of that job too.
At two bucks a can (I spoil them), their food is almost more expensive than mine, so I look for ways to save money on my family’s grocery bill too! It’s a subject I talk about often, so I want to share some of the ways you can not only save money on your family’s food purchases but also enjoy some delicious and nutritious meals.
I call them cheap eats.
To me, cheap eats are meals (including protein, starch, vegetable, and any required sauce or dressing) that cost less than $5.00 per person. It’s hard nowadays to get a fast food meal for that kind of money. Now, I’m not a coupon clipper, so I’m not going to factor in whatever additional savings you may receive. However, having said that, it would be a great idea to join Nino’s E-mail Club. Each Wednesday, we publish our specials and money-saving coupons, so my $5.00 meals are something you can enjoy anytime.
Here are some of my cheap eats:
Nino’s rotisserie chickens are STILL $5.99! That means a (4 piece) half-chicken is only $3.00 per person. Add a 60-cent baked potato, 2 ears of corn at less than 50 cents and some of Nino’s country chicken gravy (don’t worry, any extra you can freeze for later), and you’re actually under 5 bucks. If you don’t want corn, you can substitute our Creamy Cole Slaw for about the same price per serving. If you’d like some other ideas for cheap eats, you can make some from Nino’s rotisserie chickens. Check out my blogs: More Cluck for Your Buck and Even MORE Cluck for Your Buck
Moving on to some other delicious cheap eats, Nino’s (as you probably know) makes our own homemade Italian sausages, and our everyday low price for these fabulous Italian sausages is only $3.99 per pound. At four links to a pound, that’s only a buck a link! Grill one or even 2 links per serving with some easy-to-prepare Near East rice pilaf (at $2.29 per box and under 70¢ per serving). All you’ll need is some sautéed bell peppers and onions (at about 50¢ per serving), and you’re so under 5 bucks that you’ll be able to add a generous ladle of Salvaggio marinara to top it all off.
Stir-frys are also VERY nutritious (and delicious) cheap eats and don’t require a great deal of protein to satisfy, which means you can cheaply add beef or pork tenderloin into your cheap eat favorites without breaking the bank. Beef top round is a good choice for stir-frys if you cut the pieces thinly. A 4-ounce portion per serving of beef (or pork) is really all you need. Even at $7.99 for beef or $5.99 for pork tenderloin, your vegetables, steamed white rice and teriyaki sauce (I happen to love Soy Vay) will be well under $5.00 per portion.
Love Mexican? There’s some terrific cheap eat recipes on Nino’s website, but one of my new favorites is making beef burritos from my All Beef Taco Meat recipe. I make this recipe and then roll it up in a soft flour tortilla with shredded Mexican cheese and re-fried beans. Top it with La Preferida’s Enchilada Sauce, and serve with their Spanish rice and cut iceberg lettuce on the side. Once again, you have a great meal for under 5 dollars.
If you’re not in the mood to cook, Nino’s has some other cheap eat options for you. Here are a few:
A ¼ portion of Nino’s 9” Homemade Chicken Pot Pie is only $2.50 and is pretty much a complete meal in and of itself!
A full pint of one of Nino’s homemade soups is $3.99.
A 8” x 10”, 4-slice Nino’s Take n’ Bake Pepperoni Pizza is only $3.49!
And we have some terrific Entrée Salads starting at $4.99 as well.
Cheap eats doesn’t mean a lesser portion, lower quality or less variety. It only means less cost for something that’s truly delicious.